Today In History...
In 1792 The French National Convention votes to abolish the monarchy.
In 1893 A horseless carriage, believed to be the first gasoline-powered automobile built in the U.S., is taken for a short test drive in Springfield, MA, by Frank Duryea, who had designed the vehicle with his brother Charles.
In 1897 The New York Sun runs its "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon.
In 1930 Johann Ostermeyer patents his invention, the flashbulb.
In 1931 Britain goes off the gold standard.
In 1937 "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkien is first published.
In 1938 A hurricane hits New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut with wind gusts of 180 mph, killing 600.
In 1948 Milton Berle makes his debut as permanent host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC.
In 1949 The People's Republic of China is proclaimed by its Communist leaders.
In 1954 The nuclear submarine "Nautilus" is commissioned.
In 1957 "Perry Mason" starring Raymond Burr premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1964 Malta gains its independence from Britain.
In 1967 Joan Collins appears on "Batman" as a special guest villainess.
In 1970 "Monday Night Football" premieres on ABC-TV. The Cleveland Browns defeat the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.
In 1973 The U.S. Senate confirms Henry Kissenger to be Secretary of State.
In 1974 Actress, Jaqueline Susann dies at age 53.
In 1974 U.S. Mariner X makes its second fly-by of Mercury.
In 1974 The somersault record is set at 8450 forward rolls.
In 1976 Orlando Letelier, onetime foreign minister to Chilean President Salvador Allende, is killed when a bomb explodes in his car in Washington, DC.
In 1977 President Carter's embattled budget director, Bert Lance, resigns.
In 1981 The Senate unanimously confirms the nomination of Sandra Day O'Conner as the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
In 1982 National Football League players begin a 57-day-old strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.
In 1983 Interior Secretary James Watt apologizes for saying he had a mixed advisory panel of "a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple."
In 1984 General Motors and the United Auto Workers union reach a tentative agreement on a three-year contract, following six days of crippling spot strikes against the nation's largest automaker.
In 1987 A U.S. helicopter gunship disables an Iranian vessel, the "Iran Ajr," that was caught laying mines in the Persian Gulf.
In 1988 The Soviet women's gymnastics team wins the gold medal at the Seoul Summer Olympics, with Romania placing second and East Germany third.
In 1987 NFL players go on strike, mainly over the issue of free agency.
In 1989 A soft drink truck hits a school bus and knocking it into a water-filled gravel pit in Alton, TX, killing 20 and injuring 60.
In 1989 After ravaging the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Hugo hits the U.S. coast at Charleston, SC, with damages totaling $8 billion.
In 1990 During a meeting of the Supreme Soviet, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev asks emergency powers to stabilize the economy.
In 1991 An 18-hour hostage drama ends in Sandy, UT, as Richard Worthington, who had killed a nurse and seized control of a hospital maternity ward, frees his nine captives.
In 1992 Former defense secretaries Melvin Laird and James R. Schlesinger tell a congressional committee that the Pentagon had known that American airmen were alive in Laos at the end of the Vietnam War and were not returned.
In 1992 President Bush addresses the UN General Assembly, offering U.S. support to strengthen international peacekeeping.
In 1993 Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces he was ousting the hard-line, Communist-dominated Congress that had long opposed his reforms; Yeltsin was, in effect, seizing all state power.
In 1993 The police drama "NYPD Blue" premieres on ABC-TV.
In 1996 John F. Kennedy Jr. marries Carolyn Bessette in secret ceremony in Cumberland Island, GA.
In 1996 President Clinton signs Defense of Marriage Act.
In 1996 The board of all-male Virginia Military Institute votes to admit women.
In 1998 Track star Florence Griffith Joyner, a triple gold medalist at 1988 Olympics, dies at age 38.
In 1999 The House Banking Committee opens an inquiry into allegations of a huge money-laundering scheme involving the Russian mob and the Bank of New York.
In 1999 An earthquake strikes Taiwan, killing at least 2400 people.
In 2002 Angelo Buono Jr., who earned the nickname Hillside Strangler for killing of young Los Angeles women in the 1970, dies in a California prison. He was 67.
In 2003 NASA's aging Galileo spacecraft is deliberately plunged into Jupiter's atmosphere, ending a 14-year exploration of the planet.